(360) 281-6495 john@BoatDollars.com

Financial Aid – #10 Deadliest Mistake Parents Make…

College planning financial aid assistance

Mistake #10: Going Through The Financial Aid Process By Yourself Because It’s “Cheaper”.

Reality: If this describes you, the colleges and Federal Government are going to love you! This allows them to keep control over the financial aid process instead of you, the parent. When you understanding how the process works you take back control from them. It always amazes me that people will readily use a doctor when they get sick or a lawyer when they get sued, but suddenly when they are going to send their child to college and spend between $20,000 – $60,000 per year or more, parents want to save themselves a couple of dollars and do it themselves. Unless you spent the last 5 – 10 years of your life studying and understanding the financial aid process, there is no way you are going to know how to get the maximum amount of money from each school. And, if you do try it yourself, you’ll probably spend countless hours trying to figure it out. The moral to this story is “Don’t Be Penny Wise And Dollar Foolish!” Use an expert who can help you through this process and make sure you get everything you’re entitled to.

How A College Planning Expert Helps Smart Families Maximize the Financial Aid Process

  • Determine your “College Number”: COA (Cost of Attendance) – EFC (Expected Family Contribution) = Family Need
  • Guide you in ways to legally lower your Expected Family Contribution to obtain as much need based financial aid as possible
  • Explain how to get the best rate on student loans
  • Know where to look for unbiased private student loan comparisons
  • Understanding the benefits and detriments of both private colleges and state universities and getting the best deal on both
  • Navigating the ins and outs of the FAFSA forms to maximize available financial aid
  • Point out private scholarship resources so you can find and apply for private scholarships in a timely manner
  • Explaining “College Cash Flow” and how it works for your family

I just happen to know of a college planning expert that would love to help you out (hint-hint)!

Learn More About Financial Aid to Avoid This Pitfall

Would you like to learn more about How To Get Maximum Money for your Child’s College Education? Sign up for my FREE College Financial Planning Workshop & Webinar: Register for the FREE workshop & webinar here!

Financial Aid – #9 (of 10) Deadliest Mistakes Parents Make…

 

Mistake #9: Waiting until January or even worse after January of your child’s senior year of high school to start working on your college financial aid planning.

Financial aid do not wait until it is too lateReality: Since financial aid is based on your previous year’s income and assets, it is imperative to start your planning as soon as possible before January of your child’s senior year. If you want to legally set up your income and assets so you can maximize your eligibility for financial aid, you must start working on this, at least, one year in advance – preferably in the beginning of your child’s JUNIOR year of high school. The longer you wait and the closer it gets to your child’s senior year, the tougher it gets to set up your financial picture without creating a “red flag” for the colleges and universities in terms of financial aid.

It is also important for you to know what your “Expected Family Contribution” is so you can start saving for it. And, you should also know which schools can give you the best packages before you start visiting and applying to them. My advice is if you haven’t started planning, DO IT NOW!

Preparing for Financial Aid Early

So what should you be doing now, as the parent of a junior in high school to begin planning for college and obtaining the greatest possibility of receiving the most valuable financial aid packages?  Below is a checklist of actions you should take now to better prepare when applying for financial aid when the time comes.

  • Visit the campuses of the colleges and universities your child may want to attend.  Most high school age kids make college choices based on recommendations from their friends.  It is important they actually visit the campuses of those schools and get a feel for them.
  • Prepare for the SAT!  Attending a good test preparation course can help improve your child’s SAT score a great deal.  The better the SAT score, the better the chance of acceptance at the college or university of your choice.
  • Search for private scholarships. While private scholarships only make up about 3.1% of the money available for college, any source of free tuition money is welcome.  However, to get a scholarship you must search them out and apply for them.  The earlier the better.
  • Start preparing your income, assets and personal finances.  Understand your financial picture and how you can rearrange it to get the best possible financial aid packages from the schools you choose.
  • Perhaps most importantly, DO IT NOW!  Waiting until the last few months of your child’s senior year can significantly limit the financial aid money available to you.  To get the best possible results, you must start early.

Learn More About Financial Aid to Avoid This Pitfall

Do you want to know how to pay for college without going broke? Grab a copy of my book, The Essential Guide to College Financial Planning – How to pay for college without going broke. Paperback or Kindle version is available at Amazon – www.amazon.com/Essential-Guide-College-Financial-Planning

Would you like to learn more about How To Get Maximum Money for College? Sign up for my FREE College Financial Planning Workshop & Webinar: Register for the FREE workshop & webinar here!

Financial Aid – #8 (of 10) Deadliest Mistakes Parents Make…

Mistake #8: “My CPA or tax preparer is qualified to fill out my financial aid forms – I’ll let him/her do it.”

Financial Aid no CPA for college planningReality: Unfortunately, CPA’s and tax preparers are experts at tax planning and preparation – not necessarily financial aid planning. For example, a CPA or tax preparer might suggest that you put some or all of your assets in your child’s name to save money on taxes. While this advice is well meaning, it will usually kill most or all of your chances of getting financial aid. Also, most CPA’s and tax preparers are not trained in filling out financial aid forms. In many cases, they will unknowingly fill out these forms improperly (i.e., using pen instead of pencil, using white-out to cover mistakes, omitting social security numbers, etc.), and these “minor” mistakes will bump your financial aid forms. If this happens, you will have to re-submit these forms all over again, and you will probably end up losing thousands in financial aid since it is awarded on a first come, first served basis.

One Solution Will Not Fit All With Financial Aid!

The way that parents arrange their financial circumstances to pay for college will have a big impact on the types of and how much financial aid will be available to their children. Sitting down with a qualified college funding expert is the best way to ensure you are not paying more than you need to for your child’s college education.  A qualified college funding professional will find the best financial arrangement for family to help you maximize your finances to pay for college.

Learn More About Financial Aid to Avoid This Pitfall

Do you want to know how to pay for college without going broke? Grab a copy of my book, The Essential Guide to College Financial Planning – How to pay for college without going broke. Paperback or Kindle version is available at Amazon – www.amazon.com/Essential-Guide-College-Financial-Planning

Would you like to learn more about How To Get Maximum Money for College? Sign up for my FREE College Financial Planning Workshop & Webinar: Register for the FREE workshop & webinar here!

Financial Aid – #7 (of 10) Deadliest Mistakes Parents Make…

Throwing Financial Aid Money Away

Mistake #7: It doesn’t matter where I keep my money; it’s all counted in the same way for financial aid.

Reality:  Nothing could be further from the truth. Where you keep your money could mean the difference between you getting $10,000 in financial aid or getting nothing! For example, money in the child’s name is weighted much more heavily than money in the parent’s name. If you don’t know how to legally and ethically position your money properly for purposes of financial aid, you could end up losing thousands in financial aid!

In my free e-book, The Essential Guide to College Financial Planning, I stress the importance of knowing where you have accumulated your assets. If your assets are in the “wrong” places, you need to either gift, transfer or reposition them before applying for financial aid.

People often have a tendency to put things off until the last minute.  If your child is already in their senior year, it will already be too late to change your financial outlook.  The sooner you start to plan for college for your child, the better you can manage your assets away from the “wrong” places and improve your financial picture.  Waiting until the last minute could cost you thousands of dollars in financial aid that you would have otherwise been eligible for.

Learn More About Financial Aid to Avoid This Pitfall

Do you want to know how to pay for college without going broke? Grab a copy of my book, The Essential Guide to College Financial Planning – How to pay for college without going broke. Paperback or Kindle version is available at Amazon – Grab a free copy today!

Would you like to learn more about How To Get Maximum Money for College? Sign up for my FREE College Financial Planning Workshop & Webinar: Register for the FREE workshop-webinar here!

Financial Aid – #1(of 10) deadliest mistakes parents make…

Mistake #1: Most middle and upper-middle class parents assume they won’t be eligible for financial aid because they own a home and make over $60,000 per year.

Reality: Most families with incomes ranging from $100,000 – $150,000 per year who own homes are eligible for some form of financial aid. There is over $245 billion dollars available each year from the Federal Government, the states, colleges and universities, and private foundations and organizations. You just have to know how to get your “fair share”. Unfortunately, most parents give up before they even start and assume they won’t be eligible. This is exactly what the government hopes you will do so they can keep more of these funds. Don’t make this mistake! If you fall into this category, make sure you apply; you’ll probably be eligible for SOME money.

Do you want to know how to pay for college without going broke? Grab a copy of my book, The Essential Guide to College Financial Planning – How to pay for college without going broke. Paperback or Kindle version is available at Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Guide-College-Financial-Planning/dp/1517121388/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1444234790&sr=8-1&keywords=The+essential+guide+to+college+financial+planning

Would you like to learn more about How To Get Maximum Money for your Child’s College Education? Sign up for my FREE College Financial Planning Workshop & Webinar: Register for the FREE workshop & webinar here!